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Sherpa, Barcelona hit upon a hard insight when they created a campaign for "Arrels Fundació", homeless people are invisible. Until you stop looking the other way.
Using huge, and inspiring street art, they force the neighborhood where these homeless people have been ignored, to not ignore them. With oversized portraits, they have made people look up and see. As a concept, I think this is really good. Very smart, and attention-grabbing, in the right setting.
But on another note, I find it terribly depressing that beautiful old cities are full of graffiti and "street art" stencils to this day. On Jugend buildings, on Art Nouveau buildings, on neoclassical houses, and modern ones, It just pisses me off. How are we leaving everything in the cities of Europe to decay like this? And why? Including the shame of allowing people to sleep on the streets. When did we become this awful, exactly?
But aside from that, let's look at a great street art execution, that probably could never have been done without the ad agency and the charity. It's awesome.
Arrels Fundació, is an NGO that has been caring for and guiding homeless people who live on the streets of the city of Barcelona since 1987. Together with Sherpa they created #Visible which shows thirteen people who lived on the streets as huge street art installations, thus forcing people to look at them.
"Going hand in hand with Sherpa agency and the urban art artist, Teo Vázquez, the invisible has been made visible. The street artist has photographed 13 protagonists who managed to escape life on the street and now represent the city’s homeless. Using the Paste Up technique, he positioned each giant portrait on the different façades of institutions, companies and cultural centers that joined the cause, so that no neighbour could ignore them. The pictures stand out for their size, but also for their originality and artistic quality."
The location of each of the murals in the campaign is not accidental, they are located on the walls of the buildings where the protagonists of the campaign slept for far too many nights.
A QR code is provided in every artistic intervention that allows the citizens to make visible the hidden stories behind each person through testimonial videos. The façades of the Filmoteca, the Sala Apolo, the Cotxeres de Sants, the Palau de la Virreina, the Convent of San Agustín, the Massana School, the Design Museum or the Pompeu Fabra University are some of the locations that host these days the artistic intervention #Visible.